Monday, April 9, 2012

Laptop Lunches #82

Did you ever have one of those days? I did today. And it started yesterday. So today's lunch reflects that--this is somewhat modified leftover Easter brunch: scrambled eggs with scallions and ham, Southern-style fried potatoes with orange bell pepper and onion, a biscuit, cream gravy in a silicone cup, and homemade raspberry marshmallows.

I have no defense for this meal other than to remind you that somehow normal nutritional rules and advice don't seem to apply to breakfast. Really, at what other meal is it appropriate to call carbs, fat, and sugar enough? Pancakes and sausage, anyone? Or perhaps a cheesy omelette with hot cocoa and whipped cream?

I usually eat some health-food cereal, fruit, and/or oatmeal for breakfast. I especially love Kashi's various shredded wheat offerings. But it was a holiday, and I am in need of comfort food. Northeasterners don't produce all that much in the way of comfort food, especially for a person raised elsewhere. Fried potatoes remind me of my grandparents--all of them, oddly enough--a simple, horrifying staple of their lives, present nearly every day on the breakfast and sometimes lunch and dinner tables on the family farm. On my father's side, these fried potato-eaters experienced great longevity, at normal weight, and no clogged arteries. My mother's side of the family suggests my genetics probably include a lot that warns against too many fried potatoes, on the other hand, so I don't make them often--maybe once a year or less.

I did not make the marshmallows. A friend did, and she was kind enough to give me a recipe to share with you. Homemade marshmallows are remarkably different than the store-bought kind, and have been known to reduce many of our adult friends to giggling fits. As for whether I am one of them, I plead the fifth, but I did once request them instead of a cake for my birthday (and she delivered, a lovely pyramid of strawberry marshmallow squares, with a candle in the top square).

And so I am not accused of plagiarism, the rest of this post is exactly as she wrote it, and I only un-abbreviated a few things. She reads the blog, so if you comment with questions, she might be persuaded to answer them.

Raspberry Marshmallows

Grease two 8x8 pans.

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer:
1 cup raspberry juice/puree
4 packages of unflavored gelatin (one ounce total)

Then bring to 240 degrees Farenheit in a saucepan:
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 dash salt

Quickly dump hot syrup into gelatin mixture in stand mixer; turn on mixer and beat at gradually increasing speeds until soft peaks form.  Divide mixture between pans and spread until marshmallow is mostly smooth.  Allow to set for at least an hour.  Cover the top of the marshmallow in powdered sugar or similar substance; turn marshmallow out of pans, cut into squares, and dust in powdered sugar.

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